First stop – the Sandbar |

First stop – the Sandbar

Special to the Daily The 11-piece afrobeat band Aphrodesia makes its first stop in Colorado at the Sandbar in West Vail Thursday.

WEST VAIL – Aphordesia makes its first stop on its Colorado tour at the Sandbar Thursday. An 11-piece Afrobeat orchestra direct from San Francisco, Aphrodesia has been filling theaters around the country with its rowdy African rhythms, exotic melodies, slamming percussion and monstrous horns. The group says its sound is as intoxicating as a drop of honey on your lover’s trembling backside and at the same time socially charged in the tradition of African greats like Fela Kuti.Aphrodesia tours around the country on a city transit bus converted to run on straight vegetable oil. Aphrodesia really won accolades for its environmental efforts on its “Just Vote Tour,” a trip in 2004 when the band drove the bus from the Bay to New York registering people to vote and spreading the message about alternative fuels.

“It has inspired a lot of people to start questioning what they’re doing with their consumption and energy use and to look to alternatives,” David Sartore, the band’s guitarist, says. “There’s a whole movement going on with alternative energies. We’ve actually seen a lot of those people come out of the woodwork to come to our shows to meet us because they’re interested. And the people that didn’t know about it were totally in awe and now educated. When I found out about it, my mind was blown open to a whole other reality, too.”Sartore first learned about alternative fuels after watching the independent film “French Fries to Go” on the use of vegetable oil in lieu of petroleum. He then researched it more on the Internet, bought a bus and found people that sold parts to convert the diesel engine to run on veggie oil.”It’s really not that hard,” said Sartore.He said all people need is a separate tank, filtration system and a heating system.

“The biggest thing about vegetable oil is you need to heat it because it gets really thick and coagulates. A lot of people run coolant lines or electric heaters to heat up the vegetable oil before it goes in the engine. Then it’s just like putting a new fuel tank and filtration system into your vehicle,” said Sartore.Aphrodesia uses straight vegetable oil because it’s free. The band dumpster dives at restaurants and pumps used cooking oil directly into its bus. But all diesel engines can run on biodiesel fuel with no converter required. Biodiesel fuel is a domestic, nontoxic, biodegradable fuel that can be made from used cooking oil, methanol and lye. The result is a much cleaner-burning fuel from a renewable resource.”It’s a fuel that you can start up in any diesel vehicle without any modification,” said Sartore.

The band’s debut CD, “Shackrobeat Vol. 1” (Flatbed Lamborghini), was picked as one of the best records of 2003 by the East Bay Express. The band’s brand-new second CD, “Front Lines” (Full Cut Records), is already generating a buzz – the CD was reviewed on National Public Radio’s “Weekend America.”For more information on the band, log on to or call the Sandbar at 476-4314.Vail, Colorado

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